About……

A little bit about me, well as you can read I’m a Mum & I love it.

There’s not many things left in this world that we can honestly say are truly beautiful and fulfilling, at the same time as being really scary and horrifying. I’m Mum to three amazing boys who are all so very different, all so very sweet and all so very scary all at the same time. My three boys are 5 months (referred to here as L), 8 years old (referred to here as P) and 12 years old (referred to here as S), and yes I hear you all asking why would I go back after they had pretty much grown up but how could I not, my boys are truly amazing and sweet boys.

First things first, I’m probably not your typical Mum, most people would agree I’m not the most typical woman, but here I am putting myself out there. Eclectic is probably a nice way to describe my tastes & interests. I used to be the typical high maintenance woman, hair styled, make-up applied, high heels & dresses, but that was all until we moved out to a little country town 45 mins away from my much larger home town. These days my world is filled with shitty nappies, and baby wipes, while filling my day with my babies smiles and play time on the floor.

My high maintenance image was a deception, minds would never conceive the thought of me rolling out from under a car, jumping in said car, to take it out on a track to enter a Burnout Comp or compete in a local Speedway meet, or head out bush for a family camping trip. My deception has always hidden my true passions but this second stage of my life has allowed me to really follow these passions and surround myself with those who share those passions as well.

This Eclectic idea to who I am probably the best description, I love dresses & heels but I love Hot Rods, V8’s and Speedway Racing, I love home cooking & growing your own produce but I love restaurants & luxury hotels, I enjoy hunting  but I love fluffy bunnies! Maybe I’m just a bit confused & no-bodies told me?

Mummy’s Home Truths is where I’ll let you in on those little secret of this world, from lessons learnt with growing children and pre-teens, to how to change the oil in your car. I hope what I know will help someone or answer some questions but most of all it’s for those out there a little like myself, a little different and maybe a little alone, but getting up and making each and every day count for those little smiling faces that make everything worth it.

E

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Featured post

Rich Italian Style Lamb Chops

Cooking and Recipes-

            When I was first taught to cook Italian style pasta sauces, the little old Nonna told me I always had to use bones when making a sauce from scratch. She said it imparted a unique flavor that you could only achieve by adding bones. I try to always use bones but sometimes it’s not always practical.

            Recently I’ve had a pretty constant supply of Lamb, all cuts from Shanks and Roast to Chops and Ribs. So I’m always trying to find different ways of cooking them up so we don’t get tired of the meat. I’m not very good with the technical names for the different cuts, the chops I use for this recipe are the ones with the Y shaped bone in them. The lamb in this recipe is easily interchangeable with other meats, pork ribs (for the bone) with pork mince or Beef soup bones with Beef Mince, choose your meat and enjoy the best pasta sauce ever.

            I cook this and really a lot of things lately in a Baccarat pan that my Mum gave me for Christmas. I love it because when she bought it she made sure it was man proof, because the men in my house have scratched and burnt my other good pans. But I really love it because you can go straight from the stove top to the oven and the lid is even oven proof, it’s awesome. If you can have something like this in your collections you won’t be sorry, I’ve wanted something like this for years and now I don’t know how I ever did without it.

            This dish is such a lovely warm and hearty feast to serve to your family, a dish that I am sure will become a family favorite. Serve this with your favorite pasta and a crusty loaf of bread to dip into the sauce and clean up your bowl with.

Ingredients

  • 8x Lamb Chops
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 table spoons Olive Oil
  • 1 table spoons Butter
  • 1 Onion- Thinly Sliced
  • 1 table spoon Minced Garlic
  • 4 Rashes of Bacon- Sliced into strips
  • 1 Red Capsicum- Finely Diced
  • 2 tins Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 table spoon Smokey Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 packet of Pasta
  • Bread Stick- Sliced and Buttered to Serve

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°.
  • Season flour with salt and pepper and dust the lamb chops and fry off in pan with oil and butter until the meat has developed colour, then put to the side on a plate. Be sure to only cook a couple chops in the pan at one time, you don’t want to over crowd the pan or the meat will stew and not fry.
  • After all the meat is cooked you’ll be left with beautiful flavorings in the bottom of the pan, add onion and cook until softened, then add in the garlic, and bacon and cook through.
  • Then add chicken stock and bring to the boil and then add the tins of tomato and capsicum and again bring to the boil. Add paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, stir well and then add in the cooked chops and make sure to bury them under the sauce. Then cover with the lid and put in the oven and bake for about 45 mins, at this stage the sauce will have reduced, thickened and become beautifully rich.
  • Cook off your desired pasta to go with the sauce and serve with a crusty loaf.

E

The Perfect Burger Patty

Cooking and Recipes-

            By far this is the nicest burger patty you’ll ever make or eat, if you’re not keen on the seasonings I suggest, feel free to alter the flavours as you like, but salt must be used. The salt is the binding agent in this burger patty. I’ve tried every type of binding agent, from eggs to flours and bread crumbs but surprisingly salt has been the best one yet. It’s just a matter of adding a little more than what you would for seasoning and it activates some chemical reaction in the proteins in the meat which bind them together. I’m no scientist, so if you are and I’ve worded this wrong please let me know.

            This recipe made 6 patties, though I cut mine quiet think, I’m sure you would be able to get 8 patties out of this mixture. I’m not going to tell you what things to put on your burger, it’s all very personal and I’m sure you all know what to put on a burger. This recipe is designed as the most amazing way to make patties, they are bound together and don’t break apart but are tender and juice and fall apart in your mouth. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this before, and honestly it actually makes the whole process of patty making soooooo much easier and really less messy.

            You may be confused by the way I cook the patties, flipping them every 15-20 sec, but I swear this method is the only way to go when cooking meat (except chicken). I got this tip from Heston Blumenthal along with the idea to turn the mince into a giant sausage for the burger patties. I don’t get the science behind it, but it was something I saw on one of his shows years ago and I’ve been doing this way ever since. I have done it with beef, kangaroo, and pork, any meat that you can eat with a pink center and it honestly makes for a really perfectly cooked piece of meat. As with any meat, make sure you rest the meat before you serve it up, resting your meat is as important as how you cook it, if you don’t rest it you might as well throw it out.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Beef Mince
  • 2 table spoons Salt
  • 1 table spoon Pepper
  • 1 table spoon Smokey Paprika
  • 1 table spoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Curry Powder

Method

  • When you buy your mince from the supermarket 90% of the time it comes in a tray, and the mince is in long thin strands that lay all in the one direction. This is important when you purchase your mince for these burger patties.
  • Open the mince and sprinkle with salt and the seasoning over the top while it’s in the tray, use a little more salt that what you would normally for seasoning. Have two lengths of plastic wrap laid out on the bench, overlapping a couple inches on the long edge. Turn the mince out onto the plastic wrap and gently separate the strands slightly and then sprinkle more seasoning over the top. If you have purchased two trays of mince, repeat this process and lay they second tray of mince on top of the first and repeat the seasoning.
  • Once the mince has been seasoned, roll the mince into a big thick sausage using the plastic wrap, making sure to squeeze the air out as you roll the meat up. Tie the ends of the plastic wrap up and put in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours. If you can make this up the day before, the flavours will be better and the salt will bind the meat together even more.
  • When you’re ready to use the meat, unwrap the mince sausage and cut into 1-1½ inch disks. In a pan or on a grill, pre oil the patties and put onto high heat, turn patties every 15-20 seconds until they develop a dark caramelised colour. If you have a meat thermometer, make sure the center of the patties are 70-75°. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5min, then serve on burger buns with your favorite toppings.

E

Mumma’s Spaghetti and Meat Balls

M

Cooking and Recipes-

            This one has to be P’s favorite meal, I haven’t cooked it in a while but whenever I ask him what he wants for dinner it’s always “Mumma’s Spaghetti and Meat Balls”. With all the bush fire smoke around, his been having trouble breathing due to his Asthma and I always like to make him something special because it’s hard feeling that helpless.

            With a rich tomato sauce and simple flavor packed meat balls, this is a warm and hearty dish that should be on your family’s favorites list. We always pair this with either garlic bread (loaf) or a sliced bread stick.

            This recipe requires a bit of forethought, at least the morning that you’re wanting to make it, or at least 2 hours before as a min. The other thing I’m going to let you in on is that there is no binding agent for the meat balls, well a conventional binding agent anyway. I’ve tried every type of binding agent, from eggs to flours but surprisingly salt has been the best one yet. It’s just a matter of adding a little more than what you would for seasoning and it activates some chemical reaction in the proteins in the meat which bind them together. I’m no scientist, so if you are and I’ve worded this wrong please let me know. It’s truly amazing how well it works.

Ingredients

  • 1kg Mince Beef
  • 1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Red Onion- finely diced
  • 1 table spoon (2-3 cloves) Garlic- crushed
  • 4 Rashes of Bacon- Thinly sliced
  • 1 Red Capsicum- finely diced
  • 2 table spoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup of Chicken Stock
  • 4 tins Diced/Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 table spoon Smokey Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin (ground)
  • 1 packet Spaghetti or Linguini
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Put the mince in a large bowl and sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt over the mince, turn the mince over and again sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt over it. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours (3 hours in fridge and 1 hour resting out of the fridge), or 2 hours (1 hour in the fridge and 1 hour resting out of the fridge) for a minimum.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°.
  • After meat has had its time to sit, season mince with pepper and taco seasoning, then gently mix together. Don’t over work the meat.
  • Put the pan on with a table spoon of oil and butter, roll the meat into balls and fry off until golden on all sides. When the meat balls have coloured on all sides, take them out and set them aside on a plate.
  • You should be left with some drippings in the pan from the mince as well as a nicely coloured pan, add the onion and bacon and allow to cook and develop a slight colour. Then add the garlic and capsicum and once these have cooked out slightly, add tomato paste and cook until it becomes aromatic.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then add in the tins of tomato and the rest of the seasonings, as well as additional salt to taste.
  • Once the sauce has come to the boil again, taste for seasoning and then add the meat balls into the sauce and make sure they are covered with sauce. Put a lid on the pan and put in the oven for 30min to cook at 180°.
  • Cook off pasta and serve in bowls with a sprinkle of cracked pepper and garlic bread.

E

Devices, Social Media, Internet and Gaming

Pre-Teens-

            When I think back to when I was in high school, mobile phones started coming in to school when I was in about year 8. But these were phone’s that could only text and make calls, there was no internet or social media and the battles of high school stayed in the school grounds or on the bus.

            I can’t even begin to imagine how kids these days are handling the dynamic of people not only from school, but from all over the world in some cases. I mean I’ve had some pretty interesting comments from complete strangers that I’ve never met, that thought they had the right to make a rude comment. I’m pretty head strong and I don’t really allow things like that to affect me but I’ve also had my share of cyber bullying and cyber stalking which can be really scary.

            Through my experience with cyber stalking and having my devices hacked, I personally know the limited resources the police have. It’s crazy to think that we have any protection at all, and even though we see on television that the police have all this knowledge and abilities to be able to track social media and find people through their internet movements, but the reality is that is all Hollywood hype. I went to the police with identifying evidence that I was being stalked and that my devices had been hacked, and all they said was they didn’t have the resources to investigate it.

            So how are we meant to protect our children while they are on the internet? Yes I know, monitor them, set protection security on their devices, educate them, or even restrict them. But seriously, kids these days are so tapped in with everything technology wise, that they know how to get around every protection we try to set up.

            Schools try to have programs to help kids be positive, responsible and active members on the internet community, but really are we that naïve. I’m pretty sure they try to instill these morals in our kids as a part of normal education, but there are those kids that are just little monsters that bully and attack our kids in the playground.  Take away their face and give them some anonymity, and the degree of their monstrous behaviour escalates.

            I’m so scared at the moment, my eldest son has just began high school and is exposed to more internet access than he has ever been before in his life. I’m very conscious of what sites he searches, I check his search history often and we talk about anything that I’m concerned about. I’m not allowing him to have a Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat account until his 16 or can prove he is a responsible internet user. But hey I was young once and I remember doing everything my parents said I couldn’t and I found ways of doing things that I know my parents never knew about.

            It just seems in this day and age with all the accesses we have, to so many avenues of the world, that it feels as though the security and protection available hasn’t kept up with it all. If our local police doesn’t have the resources to investigate cyber stalking and hacking when evidence is put right under their nose of a previously convicted individual, than what hope do we have protecting our kids against those we maybe can’t prove.

            One of my friend’s kids has been bullied so much recently that they are now seeing a counsellor and has been medicated because of anxiety and depression. This kid is such an amazing kid, such light and potential for their future, but I worry this experience is going to affect them long term. Most of their bullying experience has been through social media and because this kid has done the right thing and reported it, and taken screenshots of things, their being attacked even more. How are we meant to prepare our kids for the real world when nothing changes when they do the right thing, when nothing gets better and their troubles get worse because they have reported and kept evidence of their bullying? There has to be repercussions for these kids who bully our children.

            Last year my son was bullied at school, it was on and off all year, but towards the end it got worse and the worst thing was the school was just brushing it off and not telling me anything happened. I called the school on numerous occasions to report what my son had told me, he was beginning to change and I needed to protect him from this kid. The last time I called to make a report, I told them that enough was enough, that it’s getting to the point that something is going to snap and if my son snaps and does something to this kid I won’t say a word but if he does something to himself I will take down the school and every teacher that brushed it off. Well surprise, surprise he snapped and this kid pushed him one too many times and my son dropped him, I warned them, they are just lucky he hurt the kid and not himself. The good thing about the whole thing is though, my son hasn’t had a problem with this kid since. I don’t condone violence, I do however believe in self-defense, and my boy defended himself.

            Imagine if this had of been a problem on social media though, there would have been no way at all that my son would have been able to defend himself. Yeah blocking people doesn’t stop them if they really want to target you. The reality is our kids are completely exposed and free targets for whoever can find them online.

            Social media is the scariest evolution of our society, developed to connect the world, developed to keep friends and family connected but it has developed into the easiest avenue for cruel individuals to target innocent people. I’m scared of social media in its existence now, but honestly I’m petrified for what’s next, there are so many app’s and new programs being developed, how is any good parent meant to keep up and protect their children?

            Let me know how you deal with this problem, help me understand how to help my children, please advise me what worked for you. I’m just a scared Mum wanting to protect her children in a world she doesn’t understand.

E

My Amazing New Toy to Help Making Baby Food EASY!

Part 1

Cooking and Recipes/ Baby Food-

            As you guys know I make my own baby food for my little man, and he honestly loves everything I feed him, which makes the whole process so rewarding.

            Back when I was pregnant with Little L I was on Instagram late one night and I came across this tool that squeezes pureed food into those squeezy pouches, you know the ones you buy baby food in these days. I thought this was the most awesome idea, but I didn’t buy one. Then I decided it was just another product to fill up my cupboards with more junk, so I defiantly wasn’t going to buy one.

            The other week when I put up my post about making baby food and using excess breast milk pouches I had left over, well what I didn’t tell you was how much of a mess I made. Not only all over me but all over the bench and the pouches, it was almost pointless. So me being such an eBay lover, I did a search on eBay to find the squeezy food station and yep as always I found what I wanted.

            So I spent my $60 on this squeezy pouch filling station, it came with the station, 60 pouches and 2 pouch spoons (they screw onto the top of the pouch and you squeeze the food through it).

The first time I made up baby food purees, I got about 35 pouches (excess breast milk pouches), with 6 different combinations of purees, all in all it made about 70 portions of food, but it took the better part of 4 hours to steam all the food, blend it and portion it into the pouches with a spoon. Though with the pouch filling station I got about 12 pouches cooked, blended and filled in less than an hour, and it left near to no mess.

The pouch filling station was really easy to clean too, I just used the bottle cleaning brush and set it in the drying rack to air dry. I could have put it in the dishwasher but I was cleaning my baby bottles so just cleaned the station when I was finished with the bottles.

So the 60 pouches I got with the station will give me about 120 portions of food, but the pouches aren’t reusable. I’m going to see if I buy any other brands of pouches will they fit on the station, because the pouches actually screw onto the station, but the pouch spoons are meant to be universal so I imagine I should be able to find some that will fit. I’ll post about it when I find some.

You can buy off eBay additional pouches, they sell them in lots of 10 and 50, I think the box of 50 works out best for about $25, but if I can find reusable pouches it might work out being a really cheap way of making food. Realistically it’s probably about the same cost as it is to buy pouches pre made, but I personally like to know what Little L is eating, I know there isn’t anything in it that shouldn’t be, especially shelf life preservatives.

Ok so I was just at the shop picking up a couple special ingredients for dinner and I went past the baby food section, I didn’t realise how expensive squeezy pouches are at the supermarket. When I do buy the occasional pouch as back up stock, I buy them from Aldi and they only cost .89c, but wow they were like $2+ for some brands at the supermarket. I think I’m going to pay attention to how much it costs me to make the purees, how much I spend on different fruits and veg I buy especially for Little L. Hmmmm…… interesting, I wasn’t really thinking about if it works out cheaper or not, but I’m a bit of a frugal freak so I’m going to have to work it out now. I’ll do a shop in the next week or so, I’ll work it out and make up a heap of purees and log some costs and do up a post.

So I’m thinking this post is going to be a two part post, it seems as though there is a lot more to this whole making my own squeezy pouches than I thought. I’ll make sure I specify exactly what I buy and individual costs and portions I use, along with recipe combinations I come up with.

E

Clam Pasta

Cooking and Recipes-

            This is a really lovely clean pasta dish, it’s very light on the sauce and flavours but very tasty. I know it’s not the easiest to get your hands on clams, but if you hunt around you’ll find them. I can often get them in a 1kg frozen pack from where I do my groceries, fresh would be best but I live a fair way from the ocean and these day these things are under such strict standards, I’ve honestly never had a problem. If you’re not keen on clams, this dish is beautiful with muscles, prawns or fish pieces.

Ingredients

  • 1kg Clams in shell
  • 6 Shallots- finely sliced
  • 2 table spoons of Minced Garlic
  • 2 rashes of Bacon- finely sliced
  • ½ cup White Wine
  • 250ml Chicken Stock
  • ½ Capsicum- finely diced
  • 10 leaves of Basil- finely sliced
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Pack of fresh Fettuccini

Method

  • Put Fettuccini in a pot of salted boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions.
  • Sautee off the whites of the shallots with garlic with olive oil and butter, until soft and colour begins to develop. The add bacon and cook until slightly coloured.
  • Deglaze the pan with wine and then add stock and bring to the boil.
  • Once the sauce has reduced slightly, add capsicum and Clams then cover with lid and wait for shells to open, this should only take a couple of mins.
  • When the shells have opened add the cooked pasta directly from the water so that you are also adding some pasta water to the sauce, this will thicken the sauce and help it to cover the pasta evenly. Then add the greens of the sliced shallots, basil, salt and pepper, then serve immediately.
  • Serve in bowls with a wedge of lemon and sliced bread stick on the table.

E

Feeding (Breast or Bottle)

Babies-

            Now, I know breast feeding is a hot topic when it comes to pregnancy and babies, and defiantly not a subject that I am aiming to start a debate on. My personal experiences have been both positive and negative, both uplifting and disappointing, and bonding as well as isolating all at the same time. All too often new Mums are bombarded with so much information and misinformation and pressure to do nothing but succeed with breastfeeding, that I truly believe it causes some Mums to have problems.

            With my first baby I had no idea what I was doing, I had never been around a baby, I had never even held a baby before I held my tiny little baby S. He was so so tiny, 6.4lb and had to be fed every two hours, but because I didn’t know what I was doing and had little help, I was at the point of failure before I even knew I was failing. I also had a horrible nurse check in on me at home that told me I would be a failure of a Mother if I gave my baby a bottle. The 2 hour feeding routine and then pumping in between to increase my supply, exhausted me to the point my milk just stopped flowing.

            My second baby P, was also a tiny Bub but I at least had a little idea of what I was doing and everything was going along perfectly until the 6 week mark and again my milk disappeared, though this time I believe it was from the stress I was experiencing from my marriage at the time. I tried so many tactics to bring my supply back but nothing seemed to help, so baby number two became bottle fed too.

            Seven years later with an amazing partner, stress free life, half a clue and all the information I could read under my belt, oh and the best breast pump money could buy. I was prepared and determined to succeed, I ate certain things, I did certain thing and I tried to emotionally prepare myself for success or failure but I was so determined to succeed I almost refused to quit. It was like the baby gods were against me breast feeding ever, because Little L was born with both a lip tie and tongue tie. Things were ok on and off, I thought attachment was fine but his ties were preventing him from attaching properly and he was just causing more and more damage to my nipples. Then the milk dried up in one side and no matter what I did, it didn’t return and then the other side dried up too, I didn’t even become engorged or get mastitis, I just completely deflated.

So three babies and three different reasons for not being able to breast feed, but every time I’ve spoken to professionals about it, they always say there was something I could have done, I could have pushed on, I could have done this, I could have done that. But the reality was I did everything I could have possibly done, and with every day I was trying breast feeding my babies I was becoming more tired, exhausted, losing my mind and I was not enjoying the experience of being a Mum. I got to the stage I would cringe every time my babies cried because I knew I was in for pain, therefore my let down didn’t happen with ease or naturally, which in turn inhibited their feeding.

During the times I was trying to breast feed my babies they were fussy, their sleep was inhibited and they woke regularly during the night, but as soon as I put all three of them on formula and I could monitor how much they were getting through their bottles, they began sleeping and were less fussy and I began enjoying my babies and Motherhood. All three babies began to gain weight and I honestly feel I had more freedom and help bottle feeding my babies.

One of the greatest things about bottle feeding is that everyone in the family can help feed the baby, fathers, grandparents, siblings, aunties and uncles, this is something that I honestly believe helps build bonds between baby and family. There is nothing sweeter than seeing a grandparent or sibling bonding with a baby while they feed it. I know I feel a strong bonding sensation when I feed my babies, that beautiful moment staring into each other’s eyes is one of the most precious moments.

Now please don’t think I am against breast feeding or all for formula, all I am saying is that the pressure I felt to breast feed took over how I was feeling about being a Mum. I see and hear so often about Mothers being successful and feeding their babies for a couple years, and I wish I had that experience just once but for some women it just isn’t possible. On the flip side of things though, I have heard of plenty of women like myself who had trouble, who felt the pressure and have felt like a failure, something I wish I hadn’t felt 3 times over.

I am all for the publicity of women breast feeding in public, I mean how many times have you seen someone eat something in the street and no one would ever think to tell them to stop. But I think that maybe this is another form of pressure for women who have babies and who are trying to breast feed. It gives the image, the idea that the most natural thing in the world is for a mother to breast feed her baby. Being a mother that bottle feeds, I even get the judging stares from people, those judging eyes that say ‘why aren’t you breast feeding’.

So no matter which way we go, we’re getting judge from every angle, we’re getting different forms of pressure from every angle and every stranger, but worse I think we’re judging and pressuring ourselves to the point of failure. At what point is our best good enough? Why can’t we just accept what we can and can’t do and that be ok? Why do we give people to power to make us feel like a failure and why do we allow ourselves to believe we have failed? This is where the level of information needs to change, this is where the education needs to change and this is where public opinions can go jump. I think the amount of post-natal depression cases would reduce significantly if all these things changed. But like people accepting breast feeding in public isn’t going to change over-night, the pressures we put on ourselves and accept from others, isn’t going to change either.

E

Toilet Training My Child and The Nightmare of the Two Year Battle

Toddlers-

            With my first child we had the typical battles with toilet training but most of the issues were a result of him forgetting the process of what he needed to do. But after a short amount of time he seemed to get the gist of it, and he really didn’t like the feeling of wet jocks, so it didn’t take too much convincing to use the toilet.

            Oh, but when it came to little Mr P, well this was all a totally different story. Maybe there was a psychological factor to it, I’m not sure but it seems to be the only logical explanation that I can really come up with. It was an almost 2 year battle to get P to use the toilet properly, and it also resulted in me purchasing one of those silly toddlers toilets that sing and have a face and their own toilet rolls.

            Yes I know this sound ridiculous but I didn’t know what else to do, I didn’t know what was going on with my little boy. This was at a pretty tough time in my children’s life as I left my marriage just before I started to toilet train P. I had been trying to toilet train P for a little while as he was 2 years old, but he just didn’t seem interested in it and considering the changes in his life, I didn’t want to push the training.

            Whether it was psychological or what, P developed some serious constipation, which resulted in some very hard stools, this also lead to small amounts of blood which was from straining. I was advised against laxatives but I gave him various foods to help loosen things and ease the pain. He became petrified to use the toilet and would start to cry and scream anytime he would feel that he needed to go to the toilet.

            After a while P started using the toilet to urinate but still had massive issues with using the toilet to poop. At this point, it was a psychological issue and became such a problem even at daycare. It didn’t seem to matter what I did, what I said, what I bribed him with, he would still have a total meltdown as soon as he felt he had to go.

            I was at my wits end when I bought the singing toilet. I had tried everything, sticker charts, praise, toilet seats, and even just getting him to just sit on the toilet. But every time he sat on the toilet and thought he might poop, he’d jump off the toilet screaming. After purchasing the singing toilet, it still took a long time to get him to calmly poop but it eventually happened. It was probably the most insane parenting experience I have ever encountered.

            I think the hardest thing was the fact that I couldn’t calm P down, and I couldn’t get him to understand that the more he stopped himself from pooping, the worse he was making it for himself. And nothing I read, the books, the websites, the blogs, or nurses I spoke to could give me any helpful advice. And the Doctors were a nightmare, they basically thought I was making it up, said he’d poop when he wanted to and to not worry. We just had to battle our way through it, and yes it was a battle.

            Honestly things didn’t come good until a couple months before he started school, now P started school just after he turned 5, yes very early. I think the only way we got him to really snap out of it, was to get him to understand that he couldn’t have this problem at school that we needed to get it sorted before he started. Though he still had issues he was getting better, but he would often leave pooping until he got home in the afternoon. These days, 3 years on he is fine and doesn’t have any problems at all.

            This has probably been the most extreme case of toilet training that I have ever heard of or come across, and it was an issue his daycare ladies had never encountered either. I honestly think it might have been a psychological issue, some sort of reaction to me leaving my ex-husband. At that age he couldn’t understand why we had left, all he knew was that his whole world had changed, and I believe his mind manifested this as a reaction, because it was the only reaction he ever had.

            My next adventure in the toilet training process will be with Little L, when his much older than he is now. At this present moment, were dealing with the new tooth that his just cut, though as his personality is proving to be set, he is still yet to show any signs that it’s effecting him.

E

The Tangiest Tangy Lime (or Lemon) Tart

Cooking and Recipes

             This recipe is for those who like things a little bit on the tangy side, well ok this is probably the tangiest tart you have ever had. It must, and honestly I mean it must be served with double cream to cut through the tang of the lime. I make this for my Mum, she loves everything that’s real lemon or lime and the last few times I’ve made this I’ve used limes from her lime tree. I think I’ve made this for Mum for the last couple of years for her special occasions, Birthday, Mother’s Day and Christmas. But just over the weekend I had my friend C over with her two daughters for cocktails and nibbles and I made this for our desert.

            I’m not a big desert lover, I’d much rather eat cheese and biscuits than anything sweet, but I love a tangy tart, so this is my go to in my recipe repertoire. I guess if you’re not into things being as tangy you could halve the amount of lime juice that you put in, it should work out about the same, maybe add the amount of cream that you take out of lime to even up the amount of liquid, though I don’t think it would matter that much.

Ingredients

Dough: (Sweet Tart Pastry)

  • 1 ¼ cups (180g) all-purpose Flour
  • ½ cup (75g) Icing Sugar
  • 100g cold unsalted Butter- cubed
  • 1 large Egg Yolk
  • 2-3 teaspoons Iced Water

Filling:

  • 3 large Eggs
  • 125g Caster Sugar
  • 100ml Lime Juice
  • Zest from 2 Limes
  • 100ml Double Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Method

Sweet Tart Pastry:

  • Put flour, sugar, and butter into a food processor and turn on until ingredients resemble a crumb, then add yolk and blend again. Mixture will begin to form larger clumps. Then add in 1 teaspoon of iced water at a time, until mixture forms a ball in mixer.
  • Once mixture has formed a ball turn out onto floured bench and knead together to make sure all flour is mixed in evenly. Then wrap in Glad Wrap and refrigerate for 20-30mins.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180°, and grease with butter a tart pan 22cm x 3-4cm and line with a round of baking paper on the base only. Make sure you butter up the sides of tart pan.
  • Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until it is 3-4mm thick, and then roll it on top of the tart pan. Because of its thickness it will probably rip in places, push the pastry into all corners, making sure that it doesn’t become too thick in the corners of the pan, but also making sure it doesn’t become too thin.
  • This pastry is very delicate, though very malleable so you can repair it easily, but you can also damage it very easily (uncooked and cooked). Don’t work it too much, as the butter content means you can wreak it with the heat of your hands, so don’t handle it too much. It is also very sticky, hence why I suggest using baking paper to roll it in between.
  • Once pastry is in the pan, put a round of baking paper on top and put baking beads on top. You can use beans, but if you do much baking at all I suggest buying some baking beads, they are made of ceramic so conduct heat to help cook the center, or otherwise you cook the edge and leave the center undercooked.
  • Bake tart case in oven for about 15min or until the whole tart is lightly golden.
  • When you remove the baking beads, if you find the center is still underdone, wrap the edges in foil and put the case back in the over for another 5 min or until it is golden as well. If the center remains underdone, it will leave you with a soggy center when the tart is done, so make sure the whole case is cooked fully.
  • Remove from oven and set aside while you make the filling.

Filling

  • Reduce the heat of the oven to 150°.
  • In a bowl mix the sugar and eggs together, making sure that you don’t create a froth.
  • Then add in the lime juice, zest, vanilla and cream and mix well until combined.
  • Put mixture into a jug, and then put the tart case on the oven rack and pull the rack out so you can pour the filling mixture into the tart case. The mixture should come to almost the top of the tart case.
  • Bake for 35-45min or until the top is starting to colour. There should be no movement in the filling when you move/wiggle it. If there is any movement, continue cooking until it doesn’t move. The top may turn golden and that is fine.
  • Once cooked remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Do not remove from the tart pan until you’re ready to serve it.
  • To serve top with your favorite berries and a good dollop of cream.

E

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